Elster's World

Monday, January 22, 2007

Where's Elster?

It's been very quiet here at Elster's World and with good reason. I'm pretty sure I am hanging up my guns and sending Elster's World to a well-deserved blog grave. I wasn't even going to post about it - certainly not until my decision was final - but a small number of people here and in emails have inquired as to my whereabouts so I thought I would at least post to let you know.

For the last few months I have been thinking about hanging it up. The urge to post is really not there and the small audience of regulars has heard pretty much all I have to say on the topics I normally post about. However, I don't want to be one of those people who retire for a month and come out of retirement, retire again 6 months later and so on. So before I officially post my retirement goodbye (assuming I decide to actually post a goodbye), I am in the process of giving myself enough time away to make sure the fire to continue this site doesn't come back.

So by all means, keep checking here and if you want to submit to Storytellers, the lines of communication are still open. But the future of this site is very much in doubt.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Better Late Than Never

Congratulations to the New York Jets who took care of business on Sunday, beating the terrible Oakland Raiders to advance to the playoffs under first year head coach Eric Mangini – all after finishing with a horrendous 4-12 record last season.

Lest I forget, lets also acknowledge the now defunct Joe – who predicted the Jets would make the playoffs (or at least could make the playoffs) and predicted that if healthy, Chad Pennington could be effective despite his 2 shoulder surgeries)

I was also glad that the Jets face the New England Patriots in the Wild Card game this Sunday. While one could argue that Indianapolis was a better matchup (can’t stop the run, Jets owe Peyton Manning a little something for his statements after the Colt win earlier this season), the fact of the matter is the Jets are not a quick scoring, big play team and could easily get routed by the Colts. The Patriots on the other hand are a plodding, keep it close team that waits for the other team to make a mistake then pounces. These Jets don’t make too many mistakes though and can pull the upset.

Lets also not forget the dog and pony show that will surround Mangini and the coach of the Patriots. The coach of the Patriots has acted utterly classlessly throughout the season and, really, since Mangini took the Jets coaching job. While the coach of the Patriots has had kind words for Nick Saban, Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weiss and others, he has refused to even acknowledge Mangini by name. The whole thing is so silly that it takes away from the players focus which should really be beating each other on Sunday.

Here’s why I think the Jets can beat the Pats on Sunday:

- Lack of a playmaker – The Pats really don’t have great weapons for super QB Tom Brady to throw to. Their offense is more about ball control than quick striking and the Jets defense has really gotten much better as the year progressed.

- Their best player on the defense may be hurt – Rodney Harrison, intimidator at safety, hurt his knee in the season finale and may miss the Jet game. The entire Pats defense is weaker with him not going. I’m sure Laverneous Coles is especially thankful considering the way he’s been beaten up the last few games.

- They did it once they can do it again – The Jets beat the Pats earlier this season in a huge, must win type atmosphere and their season on the line. In fact, it was probably that game which propelled the Jets to the playoffs.

- Hanging Chad – Chad Pennington has been fantastic for the Jets this season. His intelligence really shines through in Brian Schottenheimer’s schemes. Perhaps he can’t wing the ball on a rope 30 yards downfield, but he can manage a game and cut down on mistakes like few others.

- J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets de-de-defense – The ORIGINAL J-e-t-s chant focused on defense. And as the season has gone by, the Jets defense has really responded to the new scheme. Kerry Rhodes played like a pro-bowler all season and was in fact jobbed by the voters. And after slow starts, the linebackers, secondary and line have all played much better. They need to get better against the run (or it’ll be a long day) but if they do, they can stop a punchless Pat offense.

- The coach of the Patriots factor – Simply put, the players have really responded to Mangini – who has developed from an emotionless, coach of the Patriots Clone to a person with his own personality. The March of The Penguins video and the way he dealt with Pennington after his father got sick really endeared him to his team. I think they will have a little something extra for the coach of the Patriots on Sunday.

WILL the Jets win? I don’t know. But CAN they win? Absolutely. I can see a 13-10 type , going down to the last play type game.

All we can do is wait to see how it plays out.